Sunday, December 7, 2008

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I finished this book on Friday but have been having such a holidayrific weekend that I haven't had time to post. In fact, I have company coming in 45 minutes for a dinner party, so I'm going to make this snappy. And yes, I just said snappy.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a the second book by Jonathan Safran Foer (see my post below for his first book). ELaIC follows 10 year old Oskar Schell around New York as he tries to find the lock that fits a key he found in his dad's closet. His father died in the World Trade Center on September 11th and looking for the lock seems to be the only thing that lightens his "heavy boots". On his search he encounters all sorts of people, who are each going through their own trials. Also interwoven throughout the book is the story of his grandparent's survival of WWII up through present day.

This book is very much a story of grieving. It's beautifully written and sad as hell. There are many poignant moments and passages where you find yourself thinking that Jonathan Safran Foer is a genius for writing out loud things you've thought before as well as things that you would never even think to think about. The narration of Oskar was always fantastic, I loved everything about him and when he finally tells his whole story (I'm being intentionally vague to avoid spoilers) I was balling like a baby. I had a slightly more rocky relationship with the story of his Grandparents. I think reading this book when in the right mood might be crucial to the enjoyment of it. I loved the writing and how beautifully he captures what love is, but at times, the Grandparent story line was a just a little too melancholy for me. I think Jonathan has an amazing voice, but it would be interesting to see him try something a little different. His first two books are a little samsey for me, but I'd definitely read whatever he has up his sleeve next.


Anonymous said...

I so want to read this! I loved reading what you thought of it. Thanks, Care

Charley said...

I thought this book was so incredibly sad.